There is a precious metals store just a few miles from my home, so I dropped in to see what they had for sale. I quickly learned that silver comes in little 1 oz. bars and rounds produced by dozens of independent mints around the country. And they come with every conceivable image minted on them. Even Elvis!!
The store didn’t have any Elvis silver items, so when I got home, I Googled “Elvis silver bars” to see what would come up, and here is what I found.
This is a special commemorative set put out by the U.S. Postal Service in 1993 as part of their promotion of the Elvis stamp. There are two 1 Troy oz. silver bars minted with the stamp image. Both bars are Sterling Silver (.925 pure), and one has been gold plated. The owner was asking $65 for the set, which seems pretty reasonable because of the collectible value. Here is a close-up of the front and back of the silver bar.
Elvis Stamp Silver Bar
Perhaps because the photos were taken with the bar inside the protective plastic sleeve, the minting doesn’t look as good as others I saw at the store. For example, there is a series of US Presidential bars that look like miniature works of art. However, some of the other Elvis silver items available on-line had even worse images than the Postal Service bars. Here is a terrible one.
Elvis Bear Silver Round
Elvis looks kind of spooky, doesn’t he? The teddy bear on the reverse side looks a little better. This is a Australian product called the Elvis Bear for obvious reasons, and the owner was asking $35 for it. These are referred to as rounds, not coins, because they have no currency value. Note that the reverse side states 1oz .999 Silver, which is the industry standard and something silver collectors always look for.
The next bar is called The Day the Music Died, which is a phrase more commonly associated with Buddy Holly. Again, the photo was taken with the bar inside the plastic sleeve, so the minting might look better without it.
The Day the Music Died Elvis Silver Bar
This Elvis bar certainly gets the award for the most information minted on it. There is his first name plus his birthday, Jan. 8, 1935, and the date of his death, Aug. 16, 1977, (Presumably The Day the Music Died), and a litany of Elvis’ achievements – 400 million records, 35 films, and 100 million fans. With all that on the front, the mint put nothing on the reverse side but their name. What’s missing is the notation 1 oz .999 Silver. With an asking price of $75, people buying this one will have their fingers crossed..
The owner of this next Elvis silver round chose not to show the reverse side, so we don’t know if the weight and silver content are spelled out on it. The text accompanying the picture says it is 1 oz .999 Silver. The King Lives On round is listed at $28, which makes it the cheapest item I found in my search, but I wouldn’t buy it. That Elvis image just doesn’t cut it.
The King Lives On Elvis Silver Round
I like the King of Rock and Roll bar much more. It has a pretty good image of Elvis on the front and has the weight and silver content on the back along with the mint’s name.
King of Rock ‘n Roll Elvis Silver Bar
It has a limited mintage of just 150, which must be part of the reason the owner is asking $200 for it.
The next Elvis silver round does not has a catchy phrase minted on it, so it is referred to by the image on the front side. Here is Elvis Two Poses, a very good bargain at $29
Elvis Two Poses Silver Round
It has to be one of the better two-sided Elvis rounds, with the gates of Graceland minted on the back. Also, please note the “Silver Trade Unit” at the bottom. Phrases like this and “Official Barter Unit” appear on a few silver rounds, a reference to the belief held by some people that America is on the road to financial collapse and that precious metals will become the de-facto currency.
We’ll follow one of the best items in Elvis silver with one produced by a mint whose minting is considered inferior by some silver sellers. The Dahlonega Mint is in Georgia where there was a minor gold rush in the 1800s. There are still a couple of tourist-trap “Gold Mines” with wooden sluices where you can pan for gold. My wife and I tried it there once, and we found a tiny flake of gold. They put it in a little vial of water which you can shake up and watch the gold float around.
Elvis Autograph Silver Bar
This Elvis bar doesn’t look so bad to me, and it does have something on it that none of the others have. Elvis’ autograph is minted on it, so I will call it by that name since no other was used. The owner was asking $40 for it, which may be a little pricey..
The next does have a name: A Great American. I think you may find that used on silver bars and rounds with other images as well.
A Great American Elvis Silver Round
I’m not real crazy about the Elvis image, but I like the mini-star flags on each side. At $30, this might be a fairly good item to buy.
Finally, we come to my favorite Elvis silver collectible. Elvis Lives has the best minted image of Elvis; it is 1.5 ounces of .999 silver; and only 150 were produced.
Elvis Lives Silver Bar
The reverse side is a complete mystery to me. Why would they put an outdoor scene on it? There is some wording above the rising sun and under the word mint, but zoom-in just makes them too fuzzy to read. However, that is not why I would have to pass on Elvis Lives. $250 is just too rich for me.
There are fewer Elvis bars and rounds available in gold than silver. However, I’ll keep checking the on-line offerings, and as soon as I find enough for a blog article, we’ll take a look at Gold Elvis.
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